London suburbs top credit card access list


Three-quarters of households in some London suburbs have access to at least one credit card, compared with only around one in three in parts of the North East of England, research has found.

Credit information service Noddle found 75% of households in Kingston upon Thames and Guildford have at least one credit card.

Analysis of 43 million people's financial profiles across the UK also found that around seven in 10 households in commuter belt areas such as Oxford, Brighton, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans have at least one card, putting these places among the country's top 10 credit card hotspots.

At the other end of the spectrum, only around a third (32%) of households in Sunderland have at least one credit card, while those in Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham and Cleveland were also particularly unlikely to hold a credit card.

Noddle found that while households in many pockets of the North East are less likely to have credit cards, they are more likely to have loans. Durham was the place where households are most likely to have a loan, at one in four (25%).

When managed well, credit cards can be a way for people to build up a good credit profile and the abundance of 0% interest deals means they can also work out as a relatively cheap option when it comes to borrowing money. But people with a poor or limited borrowing history can struggle to get a credit card. Not being registered on the electoral roll to vote can also affect someone's ability to borrow money.

Jacqueline Dewey, managing director of consumer markets at Noddle, said: "While many wealthier commuters live in the outskirts of London, our data shows that many of them access much more credit than counterparts in other parts of the country.

"While this isn't necessarily a bad thing - as long as it's well managed - it could mean that households in this area need to be careful to protect against any possible hiccups in income that could damage their credit card payments and overall credit rating."

Noddle is part of consumer data body Callcredit Information Group. The figures used in the findings were taken from this group.

The findings were released to mark the launch of a new online tool called Noddlehood, which lets people compare their financial characteristics with other people in their area.

Here are the top 10 areas where households are most likely to have at least one credit card, according to Noddle, with the percentage of households with at least one credit card:

=1. Kingston upon Thames, 75%

=1. Guildford, 75%

3. Redhill, 74%

4. Reading, 73%

=5. Oxford, 71%

=5. Tonbridge, 71%

=7. Slough, 70%

=7. Brighton, 70%

9. Hemel Hempstead, 69%

10. St Albans, 68%

The 10 areas where households are least likely to have at least one credit card:

1. Sunderland, 32%

=2. Newcastle upon Tyne, 41%

=2. Durham, 41%

=4. Cleveland, 42%

=4. East London, 42%

=4. Liverpool, 42%

=7. Wolverhampton, 43%

=7. Manchester, 43%

=9. Sheffield, 44%

=9. Wakefield, 44%

How to spot and avoid credit card skimmers
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